Reader Unattractive SAHM writes,
A couple of months ago my husband sat down with me to have a talk. He told me that he did not find women who don't work attractive. I was a single mom for six years with our child (we were not married or living together), before we eventually married. I supported her exclusively. We got back together, and I was making substantially more money than he. He moved in with us, and I paid 90 percent of the expenses for the next four years. We moved into a bigger house, which I bought because his FICA score was so low.
Two years later, I landed a big deal and retired. At this same time our daughter was having problems with being bullied in middle school. For the next three years I stayed home, to be more available to my daughter (I went back to work when she was four months old). I was ready to return to work, when we unexpectedly pulled our daughter out of high school, because she was struggling, and she is now being home schooled again.
For the almost three years since I quit work, I have used my savings from my big deal to pay for half of the expenses (mortgage, food, school, etc.). I recently told my husband I refuse to pay for half of everything (he will not combine bank accounts) because I am going through all my savings. My husband not only told me he does not find women who don't work (aka me) attractive, we are having huge fights about my not contributing. So, when he didn't have money, it was fine for me to pay for almost everything, but now the tables are turned because I am helping our daughter, he is having a fit over it. I think this is really unfair and do not know how to deal with it. He is not one to have a calm discussion to work things out.
I have had this post in my queue for a long time, trying to see if, in different moods, my response would be more empathic. No dice. I must stick to my original conclusion, and my original choice of image. Your husband sounds like a jackass. You took six years to decide to marry him while raising your child together on your own, which speaks to the fact that at some point at least, you had qualms about whether he would be a good family man. And you were right! He sucks.
I believe that you have some subconscious attraction to narcissists, which you need to explore ASAP before you teach your daughter that marriage is about a woman catering to a jackass. It is his turn to contribute financially to your daughter, and he does not step up. Furthermore, he criticizes your attractiveness based upon your finances, when YOU SUPPORTED HIS (JACK)ASS FOR YEARS, likely without telling him that his contribution of only 10% of your finances likely didn't exactly sexually excite you.
Unfortunately, I see no way out of this that allows you to remain home and homeschooling your daughter. You will have to go back to work if your husband refuses to cover the expenses, and you will have to go back to work if you divorce him. In one of these scenarios, though, you end up jackass-free. Perhaps that one is preferable.
Although I do not get the sense that your volatile, self-absorbed husband (who likely has his own issues, as we all do, possibly including depression manifesting as anger, low self-esteem manifested as narcissism, and who probably experienced or witnessed verbal abuse growing up, which is why he acts this way to you, for what it's worth) will take to couples counseling like a jackass takes to a meadow of clover, you never know. Urge him to come with you to counseling so that your daughter, at the very least, doesn't have to hear you guys argue over money all day long, which is likely exacerbating any issues she has and giving her horrible guilt that she is indirectly leading to the decimation of her parents' marriage. Maybe he will agree, even just to be able to hit on the therapist, who, being a working woman, is probably super attractive to him. (Not once he sees how little money she gets reimbursed by insurance panels though.)
Good luck, and start looking for work online while your daughter does whatever highschoolers who are homeschooled do. Essay writing? That will give you an hour or two. Till we meet again, I remain, The Blogapist Who Says, Sometimes, The Diagnosis Is Jackass.
This post was originally published here on Dr. Psych Mom. Follow Dr. Rodman on Dr. Psych Mom, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest. Order her book, How to Talk to Your Kids about Your Divorce: Healthy, Effective Communication Techniques for Your Changing Family. Learn about Dr. Rodman's private practice here. This blog is not intended as diagnosis, assessment, or treatment, and should not replace consultation with your medical provider.